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Florian Misch

Kaufman, Kyung Kwak, Florian Misch, James Roaf, and Christophe Waerzeggers. 2021. “Carbon Pricing: What Role for Border Carbon Adjustments?” IMF Staff Climate Note 2021/004, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC. ISBN: 978-1-51359-454-5 (Paper) 978-1-51359-460-6 (ePub) 978-1-51359-465-1 (PDF) JEL Classification Numbers: Q31, Q35, Q38, Q48, H23 Keywords: Border carbon adjustment, climate mitigation, carbon pricing, competitiveness, emissions leakage, allowance allocation, design issues, World Trade Organization rules. Authors

Mr. Michael Keen, Ian W.H. Parry, and Mr. James Roaf

for trading partners with emission-intensive production. It is also important to consider how to apply BCAs across countries with different approaches to emissions mitigation. BCAs alone do not solve the free-rider problem in carbon pricing, but might be a step to an effective international carbon price floor. JEL Classification Numbers: Q31; Q35; Q38; Q48; H23. Keywords: border carbon adjustment; climate mitigation; carbon pricing; competitiveness, emissions leakage; allowance allocation, design issues, World Trade Organization rules. 1 Keen, Tokyo

Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Peter Dohlman, Mr. Cory Hillier, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Florian Misch, Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Christophe J Waerzeggers, and Miss Kyung Kwak
This Climate Note discusses the rationale, design, and impacts of border carbon adjustments (BCAs), charges on embodied carbon in imports potentially matched by rebates for embodied carbon in exports. Large disparities in carbon pricing between countries is raising concerns about competitiveness and emissions leakage, and BCAs are a potentially effective instrument for addressing such concerns. Design details are critical, however. For example, limiting coverage of the BCA to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries facilitates administration, and initially benchmarking BCAs on domestic emissions intensities would help ease the transition for emissions-intensive trading partners. It is also important to consider how to apply BCAs across countries with different approaches to emissions mitigation. BCAs are challenging because they pose legal risks and may be at odds with the differentiated responsibilities of developing countries. Furthermore, BCAs provide only modest incentives for other large emitting countries to scale carbon pricing—an international carbon price floor would be far more effective in this regard.
Mr. Michael Keen, Ian W.H. Parry, and Mr. James Roaf
This paper assesses the rationale, design, and impacts of border carbon adjustments (BCAs). Large disparities in carbon pricing between countries raise concerns about competitiveness and emissions leakage. BCAs are potentially the most effective domestic instrument for addressing these challenges—but design details are critical. For example, limiting coverage of the BCA to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries facilitates administration, and initially benchmarking BCAs on domestic emissions intensities would ease the transition for trading partners with emission-intensive production. It is also important to consider how to apply BCAs across countries with different approaches to emissions mitigation. BCAs alone do not solve the free-rider problem in carbon pricing, but might be a step to an effective international carbon price floor.
Florian Misch

This Climate Note discusses the rationale, design, and impacts of border carbon adjustments (BCAs), charges on embodied carbon in imports potentially matched by rebates for embodied carbon in exports. Large disparities in carbon pricing between countries is raising concerns about competitiveness and emissions leakage, and BCAs are a potentially effective instrument for addressing such concerns. Design details are critical, however. For example, limiting coverage of the BCA to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries facilitates administration, and initially benchmarking BCAs on domestic emissions intensities would help ease the transition for emissions-intensive trading partners. It is also important to consider how to apply BCAs across countries with different approaches to emissions mitigation. BCAs are challenging because they pose legal risks and may be at odds with the differentiated responsibilities of developing countries. Furthermore, BCAs provide only modest incentives for other large emitting countries to scale carbon pricing—an international carbon price floor would be far more effective in this regard.